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HELL AND BACK AGAIN
Cinematography Prize & Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Fest
Best Documentary Moscow Intl Film Fest
Best Documentary Academy Awards
Best Documentary British Independent Film
"An essential documentary" -Village Voice
"A full-circle portrait of rare psychological immediacy and even rarer aesthetic command" -Los Angeles Times
"Plenty of documentaries have been termed fly-on-the-wall; Danfung Dennis's terrific nonfiction feature...takes that step-back-and-observe ethos to spectacularly agile extremes" -TimeOut NY
"A vérité work of almost distracting beauty--a haunting quality in a film that operates in the apolitical mode" -Onion AV Club
"Taking a truly humanistic approach, Dennis is able to uncover the fragility beneath the gung-ho attitude and body armor without flinching from the complicated and messy reality these men reside in" -Slant Magazine
½ "Hell and Back Again builds to an emotional and stylistic power that we didn't see coming" -Roger Ebert
Recommended! "Beautiful, measured, wrenching, dramatic, even great, Hell and Back Again honors the bravery of both soldiers and photojournalists with its fantastic skills of observation" -NewCity Chicago
"Haunting" -TimeOut Chicago
In 2009, U.S. Marines launched a major helicopter assault on a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan. Within hours of being dropped deep behind enemy lines, 25-year-old Sergeant Nathan Harris's unit is attacked from all sides. Cut off and surrounded, the Marines fight a ghostlike enemy and experience immense hostility from displaced villagers caught in the middle. Embedded in Echo Company during the assault, photojournalist and filmmaker Danfung Dennis captures the frontline action with visceral immediacy.
When Sergeant Harris returns home to North Carolina after a life-threatening injury in battle, Hell and Back Again evolves from stunning war reportage to the story of one man's personal apocalypse. With the love and support of his wife, Ashley, Harris struggles to overcome the difficulties of transitioning back to civilian life. An unprecedented exploration of the moving image and a film of uncommon intimacy, Hell and Back Again comes full circle as it lays bare the true cost of war. The result is one of the great recent films about war, a visually arresting and intimately powerful story of soldiers in battle, and at home.
Directed by Danfung Dennis, U.S.A./UK/Afghanistan, 2011, 88 mins. In English, Pashtu and Dari with English subtitles.